Maine’s construction and home remodeling industries are gearing up for a three-day virtual and in-person event that will showcase the industries’ work as well as help guide consumers during Maine’s raging hot real estate boom.
The Maine 2021 Parade of Homes, an industry first in the state, will kick off Tuesday in Scarborough with an in-person event for builders interested in taking part. Participants’ work will be featured on the Maine Parade of Homes website, which is in development, and the public will be able to tour sites both physically and online the weekend of Oct. 9-11.
The 12-site tour is sponsored by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Maine, and is a way for consumers to familiarize themselves with the industry, including construction, remodeling and more.
“It is very important to us that members of the Maine Home Builders Association have this opportunity to showcase their work,” Maya Bogh, HBRAME president, said this week in announcing the launch. “It is equally important that homeowners, who may be looking to build a new home or complete a substantial renovation, have the opportunity to learn more about the builders they may choose to work with in the coming year.”
Bogh said that because Maine does not require a license for builders, homeowners need a way to learn as much as they can about a builder before they sign a contract. The event also provides opportunities for affiliate members to feature products that homeowners are asking for in new construction and remodeling, trends and more.
“We have an unbelievably talented pool of remodeling and building professionals in Maine, but we don’t have a showcase where people can view their work,” Bogh told Mainebiz in December.
Plans for virtual pivoted to hybrid
The public will soon be able to buy tickets to take part in the tour, which currently stretches from the southern coast to Brunswick. As additional properties are added, it could expand to other areas in the state, said Melanie Merz, Parade of Homes event planner.
“We have a few builder spots left to fill and we’re actively looking for projects ready to show in person by the October date in the Portland region to round out the tour route,” Merz said.
The tour part of the event will including 12 featured properties. A panel of judges will award a “Best in Show,” and attendees will pick a “People’s Choice,” after the October weekend event.
Merz said that when planning for the event began late last year, organizers had no idea what would be allowed physically this coming October.
The event template was developed by the National Association of Home Builders, which reports increased member-to-member partnerships and sales in regions that hold one.
“A traditional Parade of Homes is a 100% in-person home tour experience,” she said. “This event emerged for HBRAME in the midst of the pandemic, so we had to go into this planning for robust virtual content.”
The association has been working with Jesse Fowler, of OSC Web Design, to build the website for the event, with the thought initially that it may have to be completely virtual. “Luckily, it’s clear now, that for our builders who want to show in person, that can be a reality by October,” Merz said.
Merz said builders interested in showcasing a project may contact her to learn more about entering or attending Tuesday’s event. Those who aren’t members of the association get a one year membership with their entry into the parade.